Why is Kiruv Rechokim becoming much more challenging?

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    I’ve heard lectures from several top kiruv professionals who stated that Kiruv is becoming significantly more difficult in recent years. In fact many kiruv professionals are now addressing issues within the frum community like kids/parents at risk or family counseling.
    Why is kiruv rechokim no longer as successful? What are the bright spots within the kiruv world?


    We’ve had so much success over the past 50+ years with kiruv, Baruch Hashem, that perhaps most of those who could be persuaded to become frum have already become frum. So what’s left are those unwilling.


    What do you mean “becoming”?


    “We’ve had so much success over the past 50+ years with kiruv, Baruch Hashem, that perhaps most of those who could be persuaded to become frum have already become frum. So what’s left are those unwilling.”


    Wow, it sounds like you’re a real expert, with “so much success over the past 50+ years”. It’s a bit hard to believe, given your less than tolerant approach to other Jews. Actual outreach professionals report they while they are as challenged as ever, they are also as busy ever. Only a faker such as yourself would say about 85% of world Jewry, “So what’s left are those unwilling”.


    It is true that we have had, and continue to have, many successes in kiruv. If kiruv rechokim is perceived as being “no longer successful,” it might be because of two challenges.

    The first is demographic. The population of non-Orthodox Jews in the United States is aging and becoming fewer in number. With an intermarriage rate of over 50%, and assuming that roughly 50% of those intermarriages are between a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, a large portion of Americans who even identify as Jews are not halachically Jewish. Some kiruv professionals have told me that they need to gently and tactfully learn whether the person they are speaking to is actually Jewish, no matter how sincere the person seems, or how “Jewish-sounding” the name is. I know of several cases where individuals engaged with a kiruv organization, only to learn that they were not Jewish, and to have their “kiruv” process turn into one of geirus instead.

    The other challenge is cultural. Americans, particularly those who went to public school and especially those who went to universities, are taught that all people are equal, that all religions are the same, that there are no absolute truths, and that anyone’s beliefs are just as valid as anyone else’s. If you say that 2+2=5, then 2+2=5, because you said so, and therefore it must be true for you. Add to the mix the belief that universalism is good, that tribalism is bad, and that Jewish tribalism is the worst of all. Modern liberal thought is diametrically opposed to Torah concepts such as schar v’onesh, am nivchar, etc., but this the mindset that the kiruv professional must confront.

    All that said, we must give tremendous hakaras hatov to the kiruv professionals who make great personal sacrifices and persist with incredible dedication to draw our fellow Jews closer to Torah and mitzvos.


    People do teshuva when they have time and space to think. Nowadays with the overload of technology, there is no quiet or down time to contemplate life and what it’s really about.


    The 70s were the heyday for the American Kiruv movements for a few reasons that are no longer true

    (1)Back then even secular American Jews had a very strong Jewish identity

    (2) Back then there was more of a general turmoil and seeking in the world.

    (3) Back then the truth of Torah M’Sinai was much more accepted by most Americans, Jew and non-Jew alike.

    Over the past thirty years, however, the atheists have very become much more aggressive in the general America media and public life, which have become way more hostile to ALL religion (with the exception of Islam)

    Hence the continual decline of American kiruv success

    The above is only true about the US. In Israel, the BT rate is not really less today than it was twenty years ago

    Sam Klein

    Like Georgie said
    Now in today’s generation there is so much yetzer haras and technology holding them back from seeking to desire a want to return to Torah. They are so occupied with distractions


    (3) is patently not correct

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    (3) is patently not correct”
    Sure it is. Real Christians believe in the events of the Torah, they’re just mevatel the laws. Today, not only are there more Atheists, but even most Christians deny pretty much everything they’re supposed to believe.


    Most people are not atheistrs, they are not relgious. there is a difference and unfortunatly many relgious people have been invovled in scandals they have not helped and give people a negative view of religion and religious people and leaders


    2 reasons


    There is such an anti religion bent to so much and so many in the media these days that it is harder to interest people in religion. In addition due to the terrible intermarriage rate, promoted in large part by the reform, conservative and OO, there are fewer actual Jews. A spiritual holocaust.

    There is no truth to the reason that ZD is falsely presenting.


    Maybe the availability of instant information through the internet has informed so many secular Jews about scandals in the Frum world like tax and Medicaid fraud, child molesters and other scandals that they are resistant to persuasion. T


    There was also a lot of survivors kids that were not frum after the war bur were very traditional, they would send there kids to hebrew school and the kids would have a connection to yidishkeit. As the generations went on, that connection to yidishkeit faded so now its harder to do kiruv.


    Its not just frum people, Scandals in other religions especially the Catholic church do not help religion in general.

    It doesnt help judaism when a priest is caught as a molester


    I think that the success of the Kiruv movement has always been overstated — numbers wise. I think as we move further from Europe — there are more and more who have no connection at all to Judaism. I grew up in the 70s/80s everyone belonged to a Reform or Conservative synagogue. In my neighborhood — all Jewish kids had some connection. Without any connection — it is exponentially more difficult to forge a connection later. I totally disagree with those who say that being unaffiliated is better. (I know the arguments — but i dont think that they are accurate. I would bet — but i dont know — that there are many more people who were affiliated with the Conservative movement in any way — that became orthodox than those who had no affiliation at all).


    First where is the source that you say it’s getting harder to do kiruv? (Very possible it is, just wondering where your question based off that everyone is trying to give answers)
    I think there is a misconception here, It’s not about convincing people to come religious, rather lighting the pinteleh yid inside of thrm. Yiddishkiet is not something external to a Jew it’s what he really is, the nature of a yid is to do all 613 mitzvos, he’s just covered up in a lot of dirt, but ones you reveal his neshoma everything starts moving forward and he starts doing one mitzva at a time till eventually he comes a frum yid.
    Yes nowadays there might be more dirt but ones you touch his neshoma it usually goes for forward.

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